By Dick Wooden on December 8, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Value in the Company's Customer Service Team
Generally when the topic of CRM software comes up, people immediately think about how salespeople use the system, but rarely how Customer Service Representatives (CSR) use CRM strategy to provide better service to customers. As critical as the sales force is to success with the system, there are a number of company-wide parties that serve key roles in creating the overall customer experience. But maybe none more integral than a company’s customer service team—those who interact with customers on a daily basis.
To get a sense of the role customer services teams play, below is an example of a CPA firm that uses data from Infor CRM Tickets to provide better service to their clients and as a result, build customer loyalty.
Infor CRM Customer Service Dashboard Metric
Build Customer Trust
This CPA firm’s clients depend on them to address issues related to IRS matters, tax filings, and much more. They have turned the data from this normal business function into a living knowledge resource database inside of the Infor CRM system.
Every time a client contacts the firm with an issue, a Client Matter Ticket is created. After the CSR determines its urgency and assigns it to a support user, they thoroughly research the issue, and document the stated problem as well as the resolution. This data is not only documented in the client profile, but it is archived in a searchable knowledge database that can be sourced again if the same issue arises in the future. So that the customer knows that their issue is being worked on and being resolved as quickly as possible, CSR’s also send them an email to provide the status of their progress and notice when it has been resolved. All of this tracked within the system and even records the number of days it takes to resolve the issue.
How does this CRM strategy example of using Tickets to build a living knowledge database translate into providing better service and ultimately building customer loyalty? Consider these 3 benefits that come from this single strategy.
1. Ensures Consistency of Knowledge: Now, you’ve had the unfortunate experience of calling a company with a question just to receive two, or sometimes three different answers. You know how that made you feel. Imagine if your clients were made to feel the same way. This CPA firm understands the importance of making sure that their customers receive not just consistent answers, but accurate ones no matter who they speak to within the firm. This builds customer confidence as they can be assured that when they have questions or concerns anyone they speak to in the firm will be able to deliver the correct resolution all due to the continuity that having a CRM system that supports their needs.
2. Improves Issue Resolution Time: With a knowledge database at the fingertips of the CSR’s in this firm, they are able to quickly reference the appropriate information needed to resolve a client’s issue in a timely manner. By tracking the number of days it takes to resolve issues with CRM, this firm is also able to collect and measure data over time to identify opportunities to improve their service levels and further build trust with their customers. Customers appreciate quick resolution. It signals to them that a business cares about their issue and their business.
3. Determine patterns: Along with tracking issue resolution times, this CPA firm also tracks the issues themselves to identify patterns through the category and classification functionality within the CRM system. When they find that there is a reoccurring issue, depending on the nature of the issue, they are able to quickly determine if it is due to the CSR not receiving adequate training, a gap in the information, or perhaps for some other reason. This information becomes increasingly useful because it informs the firm on decisions about process improvements or even additional needs for system customization.
What this all means is that when a customer is assured that they will get the correct answers that solve problems in a timely manner, their trust and loyalty to your business increases. But that doesn’t happen with the ongoing relationship development that goes on between the CSR and the customer at each interaction.
Consider this, without the thorough documentation of issues and resolutions, not only would it compromise the level of service that is provided at CSR point of contact, but also at every other point of contact in the firm—from the salespeople and marketing, to every other party in the firm that has a hand in the customer relationship.
CSR’s Impact On Other Departments
As we saw in the example above, the customer service team is the most consistent touch point and is responsible for building customer profiles with the information that other departments rely on to fulfill their role in managing customer relationships.
Before a salesperson makes a call to a customer they often look at open and recently resolved issues ahead of the call to get a comprehensive view of what has happened in the customer relationship historically. With this knowledge the salesperson can call and speak intelligently and also anticipate any issues that could come up during the call.
Marketing departments use data collected by CSR’s to reach out to existing customers as part of ongoing campaigns. Some of those campaigns involve personal messaging. They can analyze the kinds of questions a customer has contacted the company about and then match offerings and promotions, or discounts to reach out to them about. And to create an even more personal communication they can take a single piece of data like a customer’s birthdays and send out an email to create even more personal communication.
A billing department’s reliance on customer profile data is especially important because of how easily a billing error can impact the customer relationship. In response to customer complaints or as reward for customer loyalty, a CSR may offer a discount or waive a fee. It is critical that this data recorded so that the billing department can update their billing and the customer is charged correctly.
These are just a few examples of how CSR’s uses of CRM help every part of a company provide better service.
Introduction to 3 part series: "Infor CRM Strategies: To Help Your Customer Service team to Manage Customer Complaints"